The mellifluous singer born on this date in 1924, is a hallmark of the Bollywood music industry. Being a skillful and versatile singer, he could mould his voice to that of the actor on-screen. He has sung a wide range of songs from romantic Bollywood melodies to qawwalis, ghazals, bhajans and even classics.
He belonged to Amritsar and later on moved to Lahore with his flesh and blood. Rafi’s singing talent was recognized by his family friend and went to Bombay in 1944. He made his debut as a vocalist in the Punjabi movie Gul Baloch, the same year. He began his career in Bollywood, the next year with Gaon Ki Gori starring Noor Jahan. Rafi sang the highest number of duets with Asha Bhonsle, Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar.
For Naushad he sang 149 songs including songs from the 1952 film Baiju Bawra. With S.D. Burman he worked in movies like Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Guide (1965), Aradhana (1969) and Abhimaan (1973).
The Government of India awarded Mohammed Rafi with the highest civilian award, the Padma Shri for his contribution. Some heart-wrenching songs in his hit list include Baharon Phool Barsao, Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho, Chahunga Main Tujhe, Chura Liya Hain Tumne Jo Dil Ko, Kya Hua Tera Wada, Pardah hai Pardah, Mere Sapno Ki Rani etc continues to be a buzz in the minds of both the older and newer generations.